Lot 60 View Catalog
Original Etching 26/6 /1968 (V) , Mouguins, signed by the artist in pencil with full margins
Size: Image size : 148 x 208 mms
Reference: B.Baer (Volume VI) 1688 .B.b.1 , Bloch 1672 , Cramer 149
Edition: 35/50 - There were also 17 artists proofs
Published by: Gallerie Louis Leiris, 1969.
Note: This etching is number 192 of the so called 347 series made by Picasso at the grand old age of 87. Despite the old age of the artist the works are dynamic and amusing - his longevity has taken away none of his creativity. In a 6 month period the artist created 347 etchings - sometimes doing several in the course of a single day. All are dated, signed and numbered. This was a great feat for a man of his age! The work depicts a scene from “La Celestine” which was a 15th century Spanish Classic work. This was a dramatised novel in 21 acts, attributed to Fernando de Rojas who published it in Burgos in 1499. The plot is a simple one: Calisto is in love with Melebea who spurns him. His butler, Sempronio, suggests he pays an elderly lady called Celestina to act as a go-between and matchmaker. Celestine is a very devious person who does contrive to approach Melebea and create a relationship between the two lovers. Sempronio, however, wants a share of the bribe money and in a quarrel with Celestina, kills her. Calisto falls from a ladder and dies - finally Melebea throws herself from a tower in her fathers house. The grief stricken parent is left alone then to bewail his sadness and misfortune. Picasso was fascinated by the story and when commissioned to create a series of etchings for it worked round the clock to complete them. The finished group of “La Celestine” etchings consisted of 66 pieces. The La Celestine works were a large and important section from the 347 series. The copper for this work still exists in the Musee Picasso, Paris and was donated by Crommelynck.
Provenance: The collectors stamp verso is the mark of Henri M Petiet (1894 - 1980). Petiet was one of the most famous art dealers of Paris in the Post War era. He bought the stock of Vollard on that dealers untimely death and proceeded to become one of the leading print dealers in Paris. The fact that our piece emanates from this source gives authenticity and prominence to it.
Printed by: Crommelynck Freres, France